Tag: Germany

Post Match comments Nederland – Duitsland

Well my friends, if Willem van Hanegem still sees options, I am not going to be too negative.

We did start well. We again created three good chances at the start and Afellay did have a number of crossing options (which he squandered) and I was pretty upbeat.

But, Bert van Marwijk said after the 2-1 loss, our defense kept on tracking back. Our midfielders and defenders didn’t dare to play one on one and push forward. “Cocu and I don’t have a voice left so much did we have to scream to get them forward. They were afraid. At a certain point it was as if we played with 2 offensive players and the rest all walked back.”

Germany scored first, which was a practice goal. Gomez looked like Messi. Schweinie with too much time on the ball, and Mathijsen lost Gomez completely.

The second goal was even worse. Again, no one picking up Gomez and again Schweinie with all the time. And this time, a weird fall by Stekelenburg!! Why did he go to ground? If he would have stayed on his feet, he would have simply caught the ball?!?!?

A string of mistakes and that deflated the energy from the team. Afellay became invisible. Mark van Bommel is spent. Robben couldn’t pass a corner flag and poor Van Persie received poor service. And when Robben finally got a cross in from the left (second half), the Arsenal man demonstrated what he can do.

Our late goal kept things alive a bit. But we were not able to get more out of this. Van Persie had a chance, Sneijder had a blocked opportunity and Raf tried a long distance strike… And that was it… No penalty calls this time and a bloody effective German side.

Willem van Hanegem: “Seriously, this was not even that bad. Sure, the lines were drifting and some players lack form, but with a tad of luck, we would have scored first and that would have made all the difference. We started tournaments bad before. And this time we didn’t even start bad. The Denmark game should have been won and this one was started well too.”

Robben: “We worked hard, we did what we could but it wasn’t enough. I don’t think we could have done better, unfortunately. But I still believe in a good result against Portugal. I have asked my German mates to win the Denmark game and we need to hope they keep their word.”

Van der Vaart: “This is shit! But if we win 3-0 against Portugal, we should go through. We should have scored in the first 20 minutes really. But Germany is a world class side. And we came up short.”

Robben: “It’s not fair to blame our defense or midfield. The whole team is lacking consistency. We are simply not as good as two years ago. Yet.”

Van Marwijk: “You always learn and I did learn something this game. I won’t go into the Portugal line up but I do believe Germany will not let Denmark win it. It doesn’t work like that.”

The AD reports their rates for the players and are devastating for Mathijsen, Willems and Van Bommel.

Wesley Sneijder apologised to the Dutch fans on television. “We started good but after 20 minutes we were suddenly chasing the game. We are not consistent enough, the patterns aren’t there. But we still have a chance and we should grab that last chance. But I do want to apologise to the Oranje legion. They are immense and deserve much better.”

Van Marwijk: “Against Germany, you need to be top. Our system wasn’t executed right. Our holding mids played to frightened. While our wingers couldn’t get a break. The communication and interplay between the lines was poor. I think Van Persie played really well actually but as a whole we were not good enough against this strong Germany.”

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11 Reasons why Oranje will beat the Germans!

Holland going home?? No way! We will beat the Germans and Thursday, life will be different. Eleven reasons why…

Second Game Syndrome
Germany only won the second game once in the last seven major tournaments. In 2008 and 2012 they lost the second group game. The Dutch were the strongest in their second group games in 2008 and 2012.

Holland will have 25,000 fans in Charkov (not all with tickets) while Germany can only field 3,000 fans. The Dutch are loud and orange, while the Germans are polite and shy. We will overpower them with chanting, singing and partying.

Dutch Open Communication
The Dutch are known for their debating and constant talking. As Cruyff said: “In Spain you give instructions and they say “Yes Sir”. In Holland you give instructions, they say “Yes, but””.
Raf van der Vaart was the first to voice his agitation. Nigel de Jong conducted it in his behavior, and so did Robin van Persie and Klaas Jan Huntelaar. In Holland, that is a good thing. You let the air out. It releases tension. As in exhaling. It’s said and it’s all good. Our venom might well get us past the Germans.

Louis van Gaal
Former team manager (and semi German) Louis van Gaal always seems jealous that other coaches have success where he failed. He was supposed to be part of the Analysis Team on telly but he had to cancel due to health reasons. That is one negative component out of the way.

Joking Germans
The Germans are not known for their humor. They start making jokes about us in their newspapers. Seriously!!? They first copy our playing style, then they want our players, then they ridicule on of our best and now they are the ones making jokes about us???? That is the world upside down! We need to put them in their place. The balance of the universe depends on this. Remember, you want a world in which the English are the comics, the Germans the mechanics, the French the cooks and the Italians the lovers, right? Not the English are the lovers, the Germans are the comics, the French are the mechanics and the Italians the cooks…

32 Years
We have beaten the Germans more than lost against them at Euros. We haven’t lost against them in 32 years when a lucky West-Germany won at the 1980 Euros with 3-2. Our goals were made by Rep and Willy van de Kerkhof. And in all honesty…the West-Germans weren’t lucky. They were better….

Charkov supports Oranje
The Ukrainians support Holland. The Germans are not too popular here. Has something to do with some big battles in the second world war… The Battle of Charkov. 100,000s of people got killed…

Not sure, but I believe this helmet was made for the WC2006 but taken out of the shops as it was too painful for WWII survivors…

Arjen Robben was telling the media about mental power when discussing the Germany game. Cartoon king Toon made the following cartoon about this. It does make you smile…

And I dedicate this one to Beckenbauer

And this one to Bildzeitung!

Never lost twice
We never lost twice in the group stages of a Euro Tournament. The worst performance was in 1980, when we won against Greece, lost against Germany and then drew against the Czechs. This result got us out of the tournament. We won’t do this this time around…

Most predicted result: 2-1
The betting and gambling odds are slightly in our favour. The most used prediction for the game result is 2-1.

German license plate
The end result is set. We saw this German license plate. What can you say? 3-0, with goals by Van Persie, Huntelaar and Robben. Some truthsayer does see a red card for Van Persie, which means Klaas Jan will have to do the job against Portugal :-).

“We have proof now…”

This clip shows a nice panna by Sneijder on Willems.

Check how relaxed all the lads are together. Smiles, hands over shoulders… Star Sneijder consoling debutant Willems and Van Persie with a big smile…

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What Bert should do now…

Thanks to the AD for this insightful article. I have used what I can and added my own opinion to it :-).

Willem van Hanegem said it ( I think). “Football is a simple game. But playing simple football is hard.” And we saw that demonstrated by Oranje. Despite all the quality, all the experience, all the will and all the chances, we lost.

So, is our coach suddenly not able to motivate them? Has Van Persie unlearned to score? Has Italian football wasted Stekelenburg? No…

It’s tactics.

It’s system and player selection.

In the last months, things aren’t going too well for the team manager. Like with Van Basten’s 4-3-3, the time for this current system to be binned could we be here. The idea of the 4-2-3-1 is to play tighter and not let a mouse slip though the trenches. The 6 at the back defend the fort and the thoroughbreds up top need to score. Well, in the last months, the six at back conceded a lot of goals and the guys up top can’t find the net.

And if you recall the Denmark game, you’ll have to agree that it indeed looked like “6 at the back” and “four on top”. The gap between the forwards and the rest was huge. The stars wanted to attack attack and pushed up high while the insecure defense (incl De Jong) tracked back whenever they could. In particular after the Danish goal. The result? Gaps for the Danes to exploit and lots and lots of yards to cover for our lads.

“Those forwards need to do better in the turnaround”.

No, that is too easy. If you do that, you’ll be playing like we did in the World Cup. But do you think Denmark and even Germany or Portugal will have a go at us if we play counter football? Dutch football is forward pressure and high paced football in a small space.

Pic 1: Our current system is too static and predictable and when executed like Saturday leaves a huge hole in midfield.

But, this system reached the finals at the World Cup!

Was it because of the system, or despite the system? Did we play really good football? Were we lucky? We had an easy group against three teams counting on us winning. Cameroon didn’t lay down and play dead, but Japan and Denmark invited the Dutch victory in.

Our first knock out game was atrocious! The Brazil game was too, in the first half. In the second half, Raf van der Vaart came in for Nigel de Jong… We won, but also because Brazil imploded.

The Uruguay game was not that good. Hell, I remember plugging my butt in the last 10 minutes!! We scored the first but allowed them back on the scoresheet.

And we all know what happened in the finals.

So, the system, to me, was not the hero of the World Cup. The difference was the sheer quality of and will of our individual players! And some luck, at the right times.

It’s clear that if your defense is the weakest link, you should make sure the defense will not come under pressure. As Cruyff always says: if you don’t want to be under pressure, you simply have to put more pressure on them. Our best game in the last two years was against Sweden. Little hint: Nigel de Jong didn’t play, but Rafael played on his spot. Silencing the “Sneijder and Vaart can’t play together” crowd.

So, is Van der Vaart the solution?

No. It’s never one player. The solution is, to bring more football from the holding position. Like in Spain, where Xabi Alonso plays there, but that is one hell of a playmaker. Or Pirlo in Italy. Or Schweini in Germany. Very tough lads, sure, but mostly football players.

If you have Hunter and Van Persie, you should bring Sneijder back on line. Let Sneijder direct play from midfield with skipper Bommel. Let Van Persie play on the 10 position and bring Hunter up top. And yes: Robben on the LEFT!!

In stead of 4-2-3-1 we should play 4-1-4-1. With Bommel in the lone holding role and Sneijder next to Van Persie centrally. Van Persie playing in the Litmanen role, as a shadow striker. In reality, it will play like a 4-3-3 in possession. Which means there is always a player in reach within 12 yards. And this relieves our defense even more.

See pic 2.

So what to do with Huntelaar if we don’t cross balls in?

Well for starters: to think Hunter is dependent on crosses should check Hunter’s goals for Schalke on YouTube again. He is fine in the combination with a Raul type behind him. But bringing crosses in will work, obviously and with a free flowing Van Persie behind him, we can become quite a threat… In particular if Bommel and Sneijder are there for the loose balls.

The “idea” with false wingers is that the full backs will overlap to give the cross. Well, we haven’t seen any decent cross from Willems or Van der Wiel… So it doesn’t work.

We need Afellay on the right ( or Narsingh) and we need Robben (or Afellay) on the left.

So, bottomline, will Bert make these changes for us?

No. Fat chance. Bert is married to the system. Believes in it. Told the journalists yesterday that no matter what people say, he will always do things “his way”. Bert thinks that if we keep on creating, we will start scoring soon. And win games. He also said confidence in the camp is still very high.

Let’s hope Bert is right!

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Post Match Reviews…

Well, we’ve seen the opening games in Group A and B. We’ve seen half of the field in action. We’ve seen dark horse Russia deliver. And favorites Oranje and Germany not deliver. But we also saw Germany win the three points!!

Not delivering, but winning. Very Germany.
Playing well and not winning. Very Dutch.

Where to start? After having had a couple of hours to let this sink in, I still stick to my guns. We didn’t play bad. If we had scored a couple in the first half, we would have easily won this 5-0 ( or 5-1).

So why didn’t we score? Why was Robben’s aim so far off? Why did Van Persie look like Bambi on ice for the first time. (Not the drug, but the frozen water). Why did Afellay didn’t see his team mates in the second half? Why can’t Van der Wiel cross a ball in?

Bert van Marwijk said it like this ( and I tend to buy this): “We were too eager. We wanted it too badly. The guys seemed to block.”

This might apply to Robin van Persie.

At the same time, Arjen Robben’s decision making was not always good. I don’t agree with the Robben bashing. He played well in the first half, linking up with Robin a lot and even trying not to be selfish. But in the second half, tactics went out of the window. And everyone wanted to break the deadlock.

The only player with an eye for the game and for team mates was Wes Sneijder.

Tactically the second half was a mess. What struck me, was that Sneijder didn’t have a lot of space to play in, as Afellay seemed to block the left wing and Willems (rightfully so) came there too on the overlap.

In the second half, Sneijder got more space to roam in and was more important for us…

What does that say?

It sometimes felt the 4-2-3-1 was a 4-2-1-3 and the space was full up for the little midfield maestro to explore.

All in all, Sneijder was my MOTM. His killer pass on Van Persie in the first half deserved better, but Van Persie’s left foot abandoned him.

I personally don’t think Robin was shite. He actually played very well, again: linking up well in the first half and positioning himself wonderfully all the time. It is just the dreaded pulling of the trigger that went awry.

What will Bert do now?

Well, don’t expect too many changes. He will say: “We played well. We simply didn’t score.”

This image says it all..

And thus, I think Bert will change nothing. Subbing Van Persie now means losing him for the tournament. I’d start the exact same way against Germany.

The changes Bert needs to make are in midfield and defense though. Not upfront.

Our forwards will need to pressure better without the ball. That is a given.

But we need to keep the field smaller in possession. Wide, yes, but the defense needs to push up! At times, the distance between the creative 5 and the holding 5 was huge! I’d prefer Raf van der Vaart over Nigel de Jong anyday. Or even Strootman. I hope Mathijsen will be fit for Germany as Vlaar tends to keep the field too long.

Also, our full backs need to push up more. Van der Wiel was atrocious. Despite Willems’ mistakes here and there, I think he is da Man for the job. I wouldn’t sub him.

So, let’s look at the others:

Poland played well. Like Holland. Taking the game to the weaker Greeks, but forgetting to score. The Greek battled their way back into it and Group A looks like a lively group.

Russia wasn’t tested by the Czechs and the main problem Big Dick has with them is to get some consistency. They won this, they might win the next one, but Russia will most likely have an off day at some state and go back home.

Portugal can play football if they decide to do so. They have this sleezy counter attacking gameplan in their dna and as long as they play like this they will be depending on the opponent. They should have played more adventurous. I’m truly impressed with Coentrao, the Real left back. Great player!

Germany looked like Holland in the World Cup. Playing 4-2-3-1. Struggling to create. Ozil was mediocre in the first half, but very good coming from the left side. Podolski was invisible and Muller was struggling too, but they had luck on their side. They didn’t deserve it, but they did get it.

I think it’s about time Holland shows them who’s boss!

Afellay said he felt Oranje was bossing the game. “We created so much. It did resemble some games we played with Barcelona. What it is…concentration, luck, sharpness… no idea…”

Skipper Van Bommel was terrible down. “I don’t know what to say. I’m knackered. The humidity got to us too. But that was not the reason for this defeat. Even that handball, we can’t blame anyone. We had 5 big chances to score and we didn’t score. Simple as that.”

Sneijder: “We all worked hard, and we did what we could to bring our forwards in to position. If they don’t score, it’s game over. We know we would give opportunities away. At this level, the opponent will always get one or two chances. The point is, that we simply need to score more. And we failed. Now we simply need to win the remaining games. Hard, but doable.”

Robben: “I’m sure the Danes pinch themselves still. How could they have won this. I don’t think our loss was a disgrace. We played too good for that. It was more a miracle. And a total disappointment for us… But, we need to regroup and focus on winning all our other matches.”

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